Progress is often thought of in these terms: What is being built? What is the next big thing? What street, park or facility is the city building next? While all of that is interesting, from the perspective of a resident or business, sometimes what’s happening now that impacts quality of life is equally important.
With that in mind, Pasco has been surveying its residents about city services and community issues since 2005. The survey, provided in English and Spanish, is used to inform the City Council in the formation of goals for the community and assist staff in improving the delivery of services.
The most recent survey, published in 2018, logged the highest positive ratings for Pasco since formal surveying began in the following categories: The City as 1) a place to retire; 2) a place to work; and 3) a place of openness and acceptance. In addition, police, fire, ambulance services and crime prevention efforts enjoyed their highest ratings since initial surveying began. City image and recreational programs also received significantly improved scores.
Goals make a difference, and the City Council goals developed through the community survey have most recently resulted in:
▪ An improvement from a Class 5 to a Class 3 in the City’s fire rating, so let your homeowner’s insurance agent know as there may be savings associated with this improvement.
▪ For the second consecutive year Pasco has been recognized as the third safest city with a population over 50,000 in the state.
▪ Building on a “strength through diversity philosophy,” the establishment of a City Council-appointed Inclusivity Committee.
▪ A community risk reduction program that is having a profound and positive effect on lives.
▪ Four police officers added in 2019.
▪ Stable property tax and utility rates.
Over the next 20 years, Pasco’s population is expected to increase from 74,000 to 125,000, an increase of 51,000 new residents. To plan for accommodating this anticipated growth, an update of the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan is under way. The update is a 20-year look forward on what Pasco at 125,000 people will look like, including quality of life and infrastructure issues such as open space, parks, density, development standards, public safety, transportation, utility infrastructure, affordable housing, employment and amenities. Completion of the planning process is expected this year.
All of Pasco will continue to experience steady growth in the coming years, however west Pasco will experience considerable residential and commercial growth. A major sewer trunk line, currently under construction, will open the area up for development.
Some noteworthy capital initiatives that have been in the works for years are currently coming to fruition:
▪ The $32 million Lewis Street Overpass creating a safe and welcoming gateway to downtown from the east will be under construction this fall.
▪ A community-based reimagining of Peanuts Park/Farmer’s Market is under design with construction to commence late this year.
▪ Chapel Hill Boulevard, a missing multi-modal transportation corridor link between Road 68 and Road 84, is under construction. This project opens up booming residential areas, allows for new commercial opportunities and improves safety and options for travelers in the surrounding area.
▪ Two new fire stations are under design with construction anticipated over the next 18 months; one is planned for Road 68 and Sandifur Boulevard, the other in the vicinity of Court Street and Road 52.
It is no simple task to describe all that is happening in Pasco in a few hundred words. We encourage the public to access our website (www.pasco-wa.gov) or follow us on social media to stay up to date on city news, initiatives and other major happenings in our community.